Sending a clear message
The raid in Somalia and the capture of a terror leader suspected for his involvement in the Kenyan mall attack show a renewal of resolve by the United States in the war on terror, as well as a new direction.
We think the direction could work, depending on what the Obama administration decides to do with people it captures.
The man described as the leader of the al-Qaida offshoot that conducted the Kenyan attack is in U.S. custody. He should be interrogated and treated humanely and the information gleaned from him should be used to take down more terror cells.
That is as it should be.
Endless custody or show trials in the United States are only useful to stoke more terrorists, more attacks and more bitterness.
Instead, the nation needs to continue to send a hard-line message, the kind that Israel sends to its neighbors through its hard-line stance:
We are the United States of America. We may not be able to afford to send the entire might of our armed forces to get you, but get you we will. And we will not tolerate attacks on our citizens or their interests anywhere in the world.
So long as the interests are clear – we’re still not so sure that applies in the confused Obama doctrine about Syria – and so long as the recognition that American-style courtroom justice is meaningless against these organizations, the new phase in the war on terror could just work well.